Since 1986, the Northern Ireland Countryside Survey (NICS)has assessed changes in the type and extent of habitats with a field-based ecological research programme . The aim is to understand how land use and the environment influence habitats and their biodiversity and how habitats change with time. NICS provides a science-based record of habitat change that can be used as a measure of the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation and performance on environmental sustainability.NICS is structured on statistical sampling principles and standardized protocols forhabitat field survey. Between 1986 and 1991, baseline habitat field survey was carried out ina sample set of quarter kilometer grid squares throughout NI. Habitat change was assessed by surveys in 1998 and 2007. Field mapping was with a Primary Habitat classification, defined by vegetation structure and species composition. The area of Primary Habitats was estimated from the sample squares by statistical analysis. Estimates of Broad Habitats, a classification constructed to communicate policy on habitat protection at a UK level, were also determined. Our NICS 2007 report assesses habitat change between 1998 and 2007.
|Publisher||Northern Ireland Environment Agency|
|Number of pages||58|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|